Dartmouth’s Helble Named to Prestigious Science Society

Thayer’s dean is honored for his engineering research and environmental contributions.

Thayer School of Engineering Dean Joseph Helble has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. AAAS cites Helble “for contributions in the areas of air pollution, aerosols, nanoscale ceramics, and air quality, and for excellence in teaching and professional service.”

“The recognition accorded Dean Helble by one of the world’s preeminent scientific organizations reflects his achievement as a leading researcher, teacher, and scholar,” says President Phil Hanlon '77. “Joe has inspired students, advanced knowledge in the field of chemical engineering, and fostered applications for environmental protection and betterment. His accomplishments continue to bring distinction to Dartmouth.”

“It is an honor to be recognized by AAAS for our efforts to understand the formation, dynamics, and chemistry of fine particles, and to have our contributions to teaching recognized as well,” says Helble, a professor of engineering. “I have been privileged to work with talented students and colleagues in both research and education, and this honor is an acknowledgement of the contributions of many, over many years.”

Helble was appointed to a fourth four-year term as Thayer’s dean in July. Prior to his arrival at Dartmouth in 2005, Helble was the Roger Revelle Fellow of the AAAS and spent a year working on technology and environmental policy issues in the office of then-U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.). 

Previously, Helble was a professor of chemical engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Connecticut, where he received the inaugural Environmental Faculty Leadership Award. Helble has led research in areas of air pollution, carbon dioxide capture, aerosol science, and nanoscale materials production. He also worked as a research scientist and manager at Physical Sciences Inc. in Andover, Mass., and at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Helble is the author of more than 100 publications and holds three U.S. patents relating to nanoscale ceramic powders. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award and an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. As the 2004–2005 Roger Revelle Fellow of AAAS, he addressed technology and environmental policy initiatives in the U.S. Senate. He has served on several EPA Science Advisory Board panels, and as a member of the editorial boards of the scientific journals Environmental Engineering Science and Fuel Processing Technology, and is presently a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Spectrum Editorial Advisory Board and the Montshire Museum Board of Trustees. He is also the chair of the Public Policy Committee of the American Society for Engineering Education U.S. Engineering Deans Council.

Helble is a summa cum laude chemical engineering graduate of Lehigh University. He received his PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With more than 500 students, Thayer offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is home to the nation’s first engineering PhD Innovation Program, which Helble launched in 2008 to address the growing need for engineers with high-level technical and entrepreneurial expertise. For that achievement, Helble received the National Academy of Engineering’s highest pedagogical honor, the Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.